CSR fleet grounded?

 
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
The four SCT's on 5MP9 this morning were in order 6, 3, 15, 2.

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  jmt Deputy Commissioner

Many thanks to correspondents, jmt and M636C for providing comment that is based on logical observations from a number of sources and not simply "Chinese Bashing". Their contributions greatly assist those of us who would like to know just what are the problems with these and other locomotives.
NOELWB
There seems to be a  group-think developing on this site that demands political correctness, and a holier than though insistence on deriding politically incorrect posts.

What is wrong in knocking Chinese product if it is crap? As a nation they took decades to master the art of sewing on shirt buttons that not to detach in the tenth and subsequent washes. My personal experience is that a number of their machinists have sill to master this art. Am I not allowed to knock shirt-makers who purvey poorly stitched product just because they happen to reside in China?

Political Correctness is a disease that afflicts the teaching professions, civil servants, ABC journalists, inner suburbanites who consider themselves to be elitist due to winning a BA degree, and politicians who believe in a "progressive" agenda together with their camp followers and hangers on.

Get rapidly real, those who now sit on the Treasury benches are by no means "progressive", they are pragmatists, so "feel good" and "progressive" concepts are off the agenda for at least a decade, hopefully also the insistence on politically correct thought.

If China, or any other nation is is producing shoddy or poorly designed product, what is wrong in deriding the system (and political regime) that allows the manufacture and export of such product? By no stretch of the imagination could the Chinese leadership be considered PC, or "progressive", so why is criticism of Chinese product on this site derided by the politically correct?
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
If I remember right, it was muffler insulation material and the lagging on the cooling pipes.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
What is wrong in knocking Chinese product if it is crap?

Political Correctness is a disease that afflicts the teaching professions, civil servants, ABC journalists, inner suburbanites who consider themselves to be elitist due to winning a BA degree, and politicians who believe in a "progressive" agenda together with their camp followers and hangers on. Pol Pot 'likes' this
jmt
Next you'll be telling us that all the imported food from China we eat is fertilised by human faeces Razz
  NOELWB Locomotive Driver

Products are crap because they are unable to perform the tasks for which they were purchased. Whether they be of Australian , British, Chinese or any other nations origin. My point was and remains that this and other like discussions are enhanced by relevant information provided by correspondents and not by racist rubbish.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
Thanks DR Smith and jmt.

Asbestos lagging sounds like a hell of a job to clean up safely. Gaskets arent much of a big deal if they come apart from mating faces cleanly.

Aparently Japan used to be the China of the world until their government set laws to govern the quality of its exports. Now look at it. Everything from Japan is insanely well built. No reason China couldnt do the same.
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

Thanks DR Smith and jmt.

Asbestos lagging sounds like a hell of a job to clean up safely. Gaskets arent much of a big deal if they come apart from mating faces cleanly.

Aparently Japan used to be the China of the world until their government set laws to govern the quality of its exports. Now look at it. Everything from Japan is insanely well built. No reason China couldnt do the same.
DBclass
So if the Italian government passed some laws, the quality of their cars would match the Japanese? And if the Germans passed some laws, their products would inspire the completely irrational loyalty that Italian cars do? I think you are underestimating the cultural differences.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
So if the Italian government passed some laws, the quality of their cars would match the Japanese? And if the Germans passed some laws, their products would inspire the completely irrational loyalty that Italian cars do? I think you are underestimating the cultural differences.
fzr560

Mmm not sure Germany's and Italy's build quality is consistantly poor like Chinese, rather the oppositte. One reason people do knock the Chinese as being poor quality is because they are. The stigma about them wasn't invented, it was decided by facts. This particular thread is about OH&S but all the same theme. They are behind the rest of the world. They might catch up. Granted India still uses Asbestos in construction, imported from atleast Canada I believe. But then arent they going to be the new China?

I see what you mean with cultural differences, but I think the ones you talk of have other personal qualities a mass produced poor quality item Chinese product usualy does have. There is some good quality items coming from China but these are made in China not designed in China I expect.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
They are not stupid and they do everything for a reason . Some will tell you that they seek to produce the absolute cheapest because they know the vast majority of consumers buy on price . When everyone everywhere does their local industries go bankrupt because they can't build down to the same price . Then one day all you can buy is the cheap product and with little or no competition the price rises up . Result , cheap product for not cheap price .
The real bottom line is that you cannot build technically complex equipment cheaply because it isn't easy and having super cheap labour doesn't change that . Building a locomotive is not like making a cheap drill bit , the cheap drill bit may not work well the third or fourth time but if it's super cheap the average home user doesn't care . When the locomotive has a major failing the third or fourth time out its a different story . Not going to nip down to bummings for another one are you ?
If the Chinese can get past their failure/reliability issues they stuff may work out , accepting that good gear is expensive to make properly could be challenging for them .
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

You get what you pay for.
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

Mmm not sure Germany's and Italy's build quality is consistantly poor like Chinese, rather the oppositte. One reason people do knock the Chinese as being poor quality is because they are. The stigma about them wasn't invented, it was decided by facts. This particular thread is about OH&S but all the same theme. They are behind the rest of the world. They might catch up. Granted India still uses Asbestos in construction, imported from atleast Canada I believe. But then arent they going to be the new China?

I see what you mean with cultural differences, but I think the ones you talk of have other personal qualities a mass produced poor quality item Chinese product usualy does have. There is some good quality items coming from China but these are made in China not designed in China I expect.
DBclass
'could have made my point a lot better. If 2 BMWs are designed in the same studio(using many common parts), and are assembled by the same machines, why is there a measurable difference in quality between those that roll out of a factory in Munich and those that come from South Africa? The only variable would appear to be the people. Probably irrelevant if there is a major design fault, but I  think that the Germans and Japanese have the process sorted and value engineering and reputation higher than most. More of a cultural thing than something that can be legislated, I reckon.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Those stored CLF/CLPs in Ettamogah would be handy for SCT.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Those stored CLF/CLPs in Ettamogah would be handy for SCT.
"greasyrhys"


More thirsty and more tired than the CSR's!

If they need to hire, they most likely call up CFCLA for a few locos equivalent to the SCT's
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Mmm not sure Germany's and Italy's build quality is consistantly poor like Chinese, rather the oppositte.
"DBclass"
That post wasn't criticising German build quality, only exciting Italian cars that are built badly (like the self-combusting Ferrari 458 named the Italia in honour of the nation) and the sterile design of well-built German cars (like the Porsche 911 which is designed using Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V). He was wishing for an ideal world where the Italians would design the cars but they would be built by the Germans to get both strengths at once.

About ten years ago, Alfa Romeo started production somewhere in Asia, but offered customers the chance to pay a surcharge for one actually built in Italy. They quietly dropped that option a few months later after nobody ordered it!

And then there's the issue of AnsaldoBreda, the Italian maker of trains and trams. The trams they supplied to Los Angeles apparently each have their own unique version of the wiring, while the company is facing a complete collapse after Nederlandse Spoorwegen rejected their Fyra high-speed EMUs on the basis of build quality.

The difference between Italy and China is that the Chinese are learning. They already have no problem with pumping out high-quality goods on a smaller scale (such as electronics or carbon-fibre bicycles, even the high-end European bike brands like Look, Bianchi and Colnago are all made in China or Taiwan) and it won't be long before their heavier manufacturing will catch up like Japan did in the late 80's and South Korea did in the late 90's.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
He was wishing for an ideal world where the Italians would design the cars but they would be built by the Germans to get both strengths at once.
justapassenger
That's Lamborghini........
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
Asbestos lagging sounds like a hell of a job to clean up safely. Gaskets arent much of a big deal if they come apart from mating faces cleanly.
DBclass
Yeah I'll agree with that, it it's anything like the asbestos lagged pipes were had in power stations etc, it would have to be chiselled off. Cleaning loose fibres up inside an engine room filled with pipes and machinery is some kind of hell.

I can't imagine what the poor mechanic who found this stuff the hard way has gone though. I can't imagine SCT ordering any more locos from that company.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

That's Lamborghini........
"speedemon08"
Other way around actually. They share some components with Audi cars, but they're still all built in Italy. Look at a few close up and you'll see gaps between panels that would have a German assembly worker earning an appointment with the factory einsatzgruppenfuhrer.

Interestingly, another thing the shoddy Italian car industry has in common with shoddy Chinese workmanship is communism - the areas where Ferrari, Lamborghini and so on are based have all had communist regional governments for most of the last 60+ years.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
There's a rumour going around that 3 EL's came over here on 7GP1, to be transferred from Spencer Junction to the SCT Penfield depot.
  DrSmith Train Controller

One thing I would like to see in this very good informative Railpage Australia™ is not to get too political, do a bit of bashing etc with-out some knowledge of what has happened in the past or the reasons for moving to a different product. SCT under-took serious engineering study to obtain the Chinese made locomotives........one reason was to reduce capital cost that reflects in the cost per net tonne hauled and this is not just a few cents per tonne either. Then their are the fuel savings and these are quite substantial which again reduces the cost per net tonne. Another reason was that the earlier locomotives had reliability problems which were not as bad as the alternator/fan problems that have surfaced.

Nearly all locomotives take awhile to settle in so to speak. The PAXMAN engine in the WAGR Y Class did their job but the double engine NSW units went to their graves early. The WAGR CROSSLEY engine X class was a walking disaster with others in Egypt, Ireland and England the same. One would think that the BL ANR units with the 645 engine would not have had "bugs" yet lube oil pumps suffered from ingesting "dags" (lumps of metal breaking away from inside of the scavenger boxes) and then to have to sit in front of 12 EMD engineers at La Grange hearing each talk about a couple of engine failures that were seized pistons from burst cylinder liners that created hydraulic locking. That was the second time as much earlier they had been quizzed about the alternator bearing failures in the then magnificent SD-40s. They evidently had an answer.....Mk2 bearings. A day and a half later one was told by the Canadian Pacific mechanical boss that they had just received Mk3! A couple of years ago in these pages M636C and I told of the Australian made fan failures with the Pilbara ALCO fleets.M636C may be able to point readers to the topic and date. The NR Class had their problems too. How-ever the Chinese made alternator / fan was of Russian origin probably copied from lend-lease or a European loco.

If SCT / SBT hire the ELs, there is a locomotive that gave incredible performance from "day 1"......Mighty Mouse went to work and did not commence at 50K kms/failure and gradually work up to 125K / 150K kms per failure.....they just started at 300K kms and kept on!

The Chinese have a magnificent high-speed train service, they have some excellent wagons in Australia and after this very painful episode with locomotives will no doubt improve.

One also recalls a high ranking Chinese MOR officer being told that they new nothing about heavy haul etc and he responded in perfect English....."I run 14,000 trains per day, haul six times the tonnage (coal) and run three times the distance over one route than you do with iron ore.......now China takes a high %age of your product......so buy something back!"

SCT (the company) are pioneers. Let us give them a fair Aussie go.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Well said DrSmith.

I do believe that SCT have hired G516 & G534 from Aurizon, most likely to be used as Adelaide-Tailem Bend bankers.

If EL's are borrowed by SCT, then they won't be used on the SBR ore trains as they obviously lack in-line refuelling equipment. The SCT's will be the norm for this service.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

And pioneers are always one bad crop away from failure...purchasing beyond the short term has to reflect that for a small operator and SCT have taken on a great deal more risk than they needed to in buying an untested design (and I would say the same thing if they had bought GE's first Power Haul or a Caterpillar powered EMD).
  GS4 Train Controller

Who would have associated "CSR" with asbestos ?  . . . . . . .
  NOELWB Locomotive Driver

One wonders whether SCT may have been better off buying the whole CSR package ie with a CSR manufactured prime mover of similar HP rather than going with the MTU motor and subsequently encountering interface issues. As Dr Smith states the Chinese rail system is huge and I am sure there would be many 4000 hp AC traction indigenous locomotives reliably running around albeit on a different loading gauge. Such a loco probably would have been even cheaper but perhaps not as fuel efficient.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
6PM9 left SCT Penfield today at 7:50pm as SCT005-SCT001-G516.
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

One wonders whether SCT may have been better off buying the whole CSR package ie with a CSR manufactured prime mover of similar HP rather than going with the MTU motor and subsequently encountering interface issues. As Dr Smith states the Chinese rail system is huge and I am sure there would be many 4000 hp AC traction indigenous locomotives reliably running around albeit on a different loading gauge. Such a loco probably would have been even cheaper but perhaps not as fuel efficient.
NOELWB
CSR are a locomotive assembler (as is CNR), not a builder in the western sense

For domestic use the assembler bolts the bits supplied by central planners based in Beijing into a locomotive according to a design supplied by a bureau attached to one of the engineering universities, the assembler has little or no design or engineering input. They do not supply spare parts, these are ordered by the central planners from the OEM, they have no responsibility for their product once it leaves the assembly hall

The in-house secretary of the communist party branch has equal authority to the CEO at CSR, bit like a political commissar in their armed forces, neither of the 2 Chinese loco assemblers is a free enterprise Company as you understand the concept in Australia

The 2 domestically produced medium speed diesel engine families produced in China are designs owned by the (now defunct) Ministry of Railways, and are universally known for their poor performance and unreliability in export locos. This unreliability and short engine life does not pose a problem within China. When China transitioned from steam to diesel, they did not sack 60 to 80% of backshop workers as occurred in western nations. China's railways are obscenely overstaffed when compared with first world economies, so inefficient locomotives provide employment, and justify the now inflated headcount (the Chinese iron ricebowl concept). China imports both GE and EMD 6000 HP prime movers for use in license built locomotives for critical freight tasks
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMD_JT56ACe
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Railways_HXN5
Bit hard to nail down total numbers built but believed to be well over 1000 combined

If you want to exercise you mouse hand, do a bit of deep research into the difficulties encountered with the Nigerian CKD8A (12-V240ZJG-V prime mover), or Packistan's ongoing problems in maintaining Chinese medium speed diesels

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